Oriental Shorthair

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(33 Reviews)

Is the Oriental Shorthair right for you?

The basics:
Exotic, attentive, and affectionate, the Oriental Shorthair is the Siamese’s more colorful cousin. They share the Siamese’s intense love of family, and you will never find a more steadfast companion than the Oriental Shorthair. Those who desire a more independent companion will find the Oriental Shorthair clingy and needy. This is not a cat to sit quietly in the corner until you are ready to give them some attention. In point of fact, this is not a cat to sit quietly: they share the Siamese’s gift of gab!

The Oriental Shorthair, and their wide array of colors and patterns, is naturally occurring. The gene which gives the Siamese their distinct colorpoint patterning is recessive, so in their native Thailand many Siamese type cats were born with non-pointed coats. The breeds were established separately so that the recessive colorpoint gene could be bred more consistently to achieve specific Siamese coloration.

Appearance / health:
The Oriental Shorthair is a cat with the Siamese body-type: a long, lean, muscular body, with long legs, a long, tapering tail, and a fine, almost delicate bone structure. The head of the Oriental Shorthair is distinctly wedge-shaped, broad at eye-level with a narrow chin. The face is much longer than it is wide, with a long, flat muzzle. When seen in profile, the Oriental Shorthair’s nose creates one long, unbroken line from forehead to nose tip, absent of any curvature. The ears are quite large and sit slightly to the side of the head, broad at the base and narrowing to a rounded tip. The eyes are distinctly almond-shaped, slanted, and unlike their blue-eyed Siamese forbearers, usually green.

Their short, sleek coat lies close to the body, emphasizing their slim frame. Coat color is where the Oriental Shorthair differentiates itself from the other Oriental-type breeds. While the Siamese and Colourpoint have distinct, darkly color points, the Oriental Shorthair may come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, including solids, tabbies, tortoiseshells, silvers, smokes, and parti-colors. The range of colors encompasses all possible natural shades.

Unfortunately the Oriental Shorthair is prone to the same health issues as the Siamese. Amyloidosis, a disease that primarily affects the liver, is common in all members of the Siamese family. They also have a higher-than-average tendency towards heart disease. They may have eye troubles which range from minor cross-eyes to progressive retinal atrophy, which can lead to blindness. For this reason, it’s important to do your research and choose Oriental Shorthairs from reputable and responsible breeders.

Behavior / temperament:
Oriental Shorthairs are extremely loyal and devoted to their families. They are incredibly affectionate and interactive, and they will be happiest if they can involve themselves in everything that you do. You’ll never be alone when living with an Oriental Shorthair so this is not a cat for an owner who needs privacy and independence from their cat, or silence. A Siamese of any other name will still ,er, sound as sweet: the Oriental Shorthair is a loud and enthusiastic conversationalist. They voice their pleasure, displeasure, and satisfaction with equal volume.

Oriental Shorthairs are dynamic, intelligent, playful, and active. You can expect them to explore every last nook and cranny of the house, and they’ll thoroughly inspect every shopping bag that enters the home. They’re athletic cats and enjoy finding high spaces to watch from. Their cleverness means they may enjoy puzzle toys, or even learning tricks.

Your Oriental Shorthair will make sure you never feel unloved or unwanted, and you should strive to make your Oriental Shorthair feel the same. This is a breed that will become despondent if neglected or left alone for long periods of time. They enjoy an active household and appreciate the fun and attention that children can bring. They get along well with other pets, particularly other cats, and enjoy having a companion to cuddle up to when you’re not available.


high intelligence, Pleasing Temperament, extremely graceful cats, amazing personality


dental problems, kidney disease, teeth cleaning


old Egyptian hieroglyphics, frequent vocalizations, high energy cats

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